4.000 years of inspiration: Searching for the light
Jewelry is the encounter of matter and time. Made up of the four elements of nature, earth, water, fire and air, and forged in the dimension of the tangible world through high human intellect and technique, jewelry - before being a decorative element - is a magic symbol of perfection and indestructibility. It is a piece of hand shaped nature, a ray of light that people wear or offer as a present to others. That is why a jewelry gift always touches people in a very special way: it is an act of transmission of the absolute light.
Since the 1950s, ancient goldsmith techniques have been revived in the ZOLOTAS ateliers, such as the art of hand-hammering, which is considered the technique of Hephaestus, mainly used on hand shaped golden jewels. The goldsmith artist places the metal onto a smooth surface and then "beats" it with a small hammer with a rounded edge until the rippled effect is created. The technique of granulation, in which small spheres of gold are fused onto metal surfaces creating beautiful patterns, and the technique of filigree, wherein fine wires of gold are woven together, giving a greater volume to jewels, are applied in a modern expressive way.
These ancient techniques, combined with thorough search of classic visual art "themes", have been tested and applied until today, constituting the ultimate artistic heritage that characterizes the ZOLOTAS House over time.
One of the oldest techniques of Ancient Greek Goldsmithery is the handwoven wire. Fine wires of gold or silver are hand-woven one in the other according to the desired shape and form, creating lace motifs. Those handcrafted motifs are similar to fine embroidery and their woven finials are either soldered together with other metals or jewelry, or they formunique pieces of jewelry.
Another ancient Greek goldsmith technique is the hand hammering, known as the technique used by Hephaestus, the god of fire. The technician places the metal in a sleek surface and with a small hammer, he smoothly “hits” the metal until it gets a “wavy” shape. That technique is mostly used for the creation of gold hand crafted jewelry, emphasizing the metal’s natural brightness through the uniformity it acquires during the hammering.
One more goldsmith technique is granulation, according to which small spheres are formed from leafs of gold or fine gold wire with the heat of a flame, which are then meticulously soldered together on the jewelry surface, engraving decorative motifs on the jewelry piece. Granulation is a difficult technique demanding precision skills and perfection of execution.